What is it about at sixth-form level?
By studying Latin at A level, you will explore the language, literature and culture of the Roman world of the first century BCE and the first century CE, which were interesting times of great change. You will take a critical look at Latin poetry and prose and the society which produced it. Themes of ideology, immigration, power, imperialism, citizenship, status and identity are considered within this context. From studying these issues with a focus on a particular people of a different time, you will gain a perspective from which to evaluate other cultures, ancient and modern, including your own. You will be developing a sensitive and analytical approach to language generally, which will help in the understanding and application of English and other languages.
Why study it and what skills does it develop?
The study of Latin has long been a respected part of an education and it develops a wide range of skills. In order to master the complex grammar, you will have to develop a logical mind. Alongside learning linguistics, you will be exploring historical, philosophical and literary ideas and making connections between them and the modern world. Close analysis of texts will develop a careful eye for detail and an appreciation of literary form. Classicists have long been admired for the measured and beautiful powers of oral and written expression such study yields. These universally-respected attributes means that Latin works well with any combination of academic subjects.
What prior knowledge and skills are required?
A grade 7 or higher in GCSE Latin is desirable with a 6 as a minimum as the jump from GCSE to A level is considerable. You will also need an interest in literature, history and politics.
How is the course assessed?
For the A level, there are four exams. Paper 1 (Unseen Translation) will test students’ ability to translate seen prose and verse. Paper 2 (Prose Composition or Comprehension) will test their ability to understand more advanced prose unseen passages or their ability to translate into Latin. Paper 3 (Prose Literature) will test students’ knowledge and understanding of Cicero Pro Cluentio. The Paper 4 (Verse Literature) will test their knowledge and understand Catullus. Paper 1 is worth 33% of the A level and lasts 1 hour 45 minutes. Paper 2 is worth 17% and lasts 1 hour 15 minutes. Papers 3 and 4 are worth 25% each and last 2 hours each.
To be confirmed at the start of the course
Catullus: A Selection of Poems Paperback – (16 Apr 2020)
By John Godwin (Editor)
ISBN-10: 1350060224 and ISBN-13: 978-1350060227
Cicero: Pro Cluentio: A Selection Paperback – (16 Apr 2020)
By Matthew Barr (Editor)
ISBN-10: 1350060348 and ISBN-13: 978-1350060340
Cicero: Murder Trials: ‘In Defence of Sextus Roscius of America’, ‘In Defence of Aulus Cluentius Habitus’, etc (Penguin Classics) (1975)
By Michael Grant (Editor)
ISBN-10: 014044288X and ISBN-13: 978-0140442885
Exam Board and Specification Codes
A level: OCR H443
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